QMUNITY Statement on Pride
July 5, 2017
As LGBTQ/2S people, we recognize the power of institutional violence and systems of oppression that impact people based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, age, and class.
Police violence is a consequence of systemic oppression which has been taking place for generations and continues today. We know that within our Canadian context, those communities who are most at risk of police violence include Black communities, Indigenous people, and People of Colour, particularly if individuals are queer, trans or Two-Spirit.
At QMUNITY, we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter-Vancouver and all struggles to fight racism. We are called to listen and to ask how we can support those whose lives are impacted by police violence and racial injustice.
In particular, BLM-V has asked us to support the removal of uniformed police officers from the Pride Parade. We are aware of multiple attempts to speak about these matters and in recognition of the everyday racism and anti-Blackness faced by queer and trans Black communities, as well as the systemic violence and police brutality faced by Two-Spirit communities we support this call. The Pride Parade began as a protest against police violence and systemic oppression. This work continues to this day as Black people are systemically targeted and oppressed, particularly if they are queer and/or trans.
We know that working towards allyship and social justice is an ongoing practice of (un)learning, political intervention, reflection, and most importantly, action. QMUNITY strives to engage with this work by: taking an anti-racist lens to how we curate content for our events, offering counselling services that seek to provide culturally competent support to racialized people and those who are newcomers and/or refugees, and incorporating an intersectional anti-racism lens to Pridespeaks Facilitator training.
We do this work in a complicated space, one that recognizes the importance for everyone to find connections and understanding across diverse communities and intersecting identities. We engage in this work dedicated to addressing anti-Blackness, racism, and colonialism within our space, educational opportunities, and services just as we are striving to engage with this work in broader LGBTQ/2S communities.
This statement is in regards to the Joint Open Letter to Vancouver Pride Society from various organizations, groups, and individuals.
CJ Rowe, QMUNITY’s Executive Director